Instructional strategies to facilitate the learning of field-dependent children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine D. Ennis, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Three instructional strategies were examined to assist field-dependent children to compensate for cognitive limitations in memory storage capacity and system flexibility. The interpretive study was conducted with field-dependent (FD) 7-year-old children within an analytical movement education curriculum taught by a field-independent (FI) teacher. Research questions examined (a) the extent to which the strategies increased the learning behaviors of FD children and (b) the perceptions of the FD children when learning using the strategies. Children were tested using the Children's Embedded Figures Test to determine their cognitive styles. Observations and interviews were collected over a four-month period. Emergent themes were analyzed using constant comparison. Results indicated that the Explicit Organization strategy facilitated the memory organization and storage of FD children. The Variable Format and the Student Pairing strategies appeared to contribute to active learning by enhancing the interest and motivation of FD children. FD children were more involved in the tasks increasing their ability to focus mental energy necessary for system flexibility. Discussion centered on the FD children's modification of the Student Pairing strategy to decrease demands on memory storage capacity and preclude the development of memory access strategies.

Additional Information

Early Child Development and Care, 67, 95-109.
Language: English
Date: 1991
Field dependence/independence, Memory, 2nd grade, Movement education, Teaching strategies, Cognition

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